Around The World With Lloyd Dangle: How The European Debt Crisis Is Like Grease Through A Goose

  eating your liver with a nice chianti

USA!(Paris) Ah, the enchantment –– the boulevards, the catacombs, the long lines of tourists, the little dogs and the charming messes they leave on the pavement. I’m here in The City of Light wearing my red-white-and-blue monster truck cap with the words “American Debt Crisis Observer” embroidered on it. In the sidewalk cafes I notice the French people shying away from me, due, obviously, to their deep embarrassment over the crisis and their inability to speak perfect English. I assure them that even though I’m visiting from the country most loved by God I’m not here to pass judgement.

French people generally agree that the Greeks are irresponsible mouth-breathers who don’t like to work but love to spend the money they borrowed recklessly from well-intentioned banks (just like Floridians). So they deserve to have their minimum wage cut by 20%, their government workers fired by the thousands, their pensions raided, their small businesses bankrupted, and their suicide rate up 40%. Take that, lazy souvlaki eaters! Welcome to what we call the lesson of Wisconsin.

To understand the European debt crisis, you only have to look at the way the French make their famous foie gras. First you take a goose (sovereign government) and feed it rich food (cheap money) until it gets sick and bloated with cirrhosis of the liver (debt) and the farmer (the European Union) has to slaughter it (destroy its middle class with austerity measures). The fatty foie gras of course goes to the bankers in the form of bonuses and the rest of the stinking carcass lies around for three years with nobody willing to take responsibility for it.

Up until Thursday when Europeans met for their 19th summit to discuss solutions to the debt crisis (the first eighteen were dickless hand-wringing exercises) it looked like the EU was going to crumble and explode like goat cheese in the July sun. The pasty, big-boned villain, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, had one foot on the brake pedal and the other ready to shove up the asses of the Spaniards and Italians the way she did to the Greeks.

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But the other European leaders were queasy with Merkel’s brutal austerity measures. At the G20 summit last week in Los Cabos San Lucas (jello shots, comically oversized sombreros, taxidermied frogs) everybody was all up in Merkel’s face, saying, c’mon, throw some more of your money at the problem (a trillion isn’t enough). Why so stingy? Where’s the socialism? President Obama weighed in with pressure of his own, knowing that if the recession in the US gets any worse there will be Mormon underwear hanging on the White House clothesline this time next year.

It must’ve worked. After meeting for thirteen hours the leaders defied expectations and came up with something that should’ve been obvious from the start –– they decided to be more like the United States. Now they’re going to use their 800 billion euros ($1 trillion) to bail out the banks directly instead of bailing out the countries that host them, which is smart because banks can always be trusted to do what’s right for our fiscal well-being. Congratulations Europe! You’re on the right track now.

Well, with the debt crisis momentarily under control my work is done here. Tonight I will eat snails, enjoy the sights of the pretty French girls on bicycles, drink several bottles of wine, and pass out on the bank of the Seine. I hope the credit limit is clean on my Wonkette expense account because tomorrow it’s on to Zurich to see where Mitt Romney’s money lives.

And FYI, Dangle is my real name you bastards, every time you make fun of it you just make me stronger.

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Hola wonkerados.

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99 comments

  1. noodlesalad

    This is all fine and good, but you need to answer the pressing questions wonketteers have about Europe, like what is the French equivalent of truck nutz? Scooterboobz?

    1. ProgressiveInga

      No truck nutz in Europe because, DIESEL, obvs. No one wants exhaust-covered balls.

  2. actor212

    Listen, the last time the word "socialism" was Dangled in front of the name Germany, things didn't turn out so good, you know?

  3. GorzoTheMighty

    No comment about the cheese eating surrender monkeys? However I like the angle of this dangle!

    1. Beowoof

      No talk about the wine. I am convinced the French keep the really good wine for themselves and send the swill over here for self-important yuppies to buy at inflated prices. The best wine I have ever had come from a small shop near Gare d'Austerlitz. It sold for 25 francs per bottle and we cleaned the guy out of his supply

  4. mavenmaven

    I suppose after enough time in Paris, you can start pronouncing it Dung-eh, which I guess is not much better.

    1. chascates

      There are plenty of Vietnamese in Paris. The name 'Dung' is pronounced 'ching' I think.

  5. prommie

    I for one welcome our new bank overlords. I mean, come on, isn't that the way it works? When the banks get trillions in our tax moneys, that means they are king or something, right? I mean, like, isn't that what ruling a country is all about, getting all the peasants who are working to survive to give you a cut of what they make? So now, in America and Europe, a huge cut of what everyone makes is going directly to the banks. We are now their serfs. Its kinda like what the developed nations were doing to the 3rd world for the last 40 or 50 years, the big banks would loan huge amounts to say, Brazil, and when the Brazil couldn't pay, the big banks and the World Bank would force "austerity" measures on Brazil, which essentially meant everyone in Brazil was now working for the big banks. The big banks have now decided that there is no reason they can't rape the developed world, too.

    1. chascates

      At least the old bank overlords donated some of their stolen wealth to good works, or at least fancy museums holding their art collections. Today's financial geniuses appear to have no taste or appreciation for anything other than what is the most expensive toy they just bought.

    2. FakaktaSouth

      Ya know, I read as much of the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man as I possibly could. It was a book I actually enjoyed throwing across the room some, so it did get me in touch with my more primitive side. I figure we get what we deserve at this point. The sheer deliberate orchestration of destruction makes me quite de-evolved feeling. I have no capacity for such evil plots. I like my evil on the fun side.

      1. BoroPrimorac

        My favorite part of the book is when the rich American bankers think they pulled one over on the Saudi Arabian yokels. Fast forward thirty years and it's us who are fighting wars on their behalf while they own a sizable chunk of our country.

    3. SorosBot

      But see, the bankers make more money than the rest of us, which must mean that they're somehow better people and deserve, and not that our system is seriously fucked!

  6. CrunchyKnee

    I'm snarkless this morning. Mr. Dangle, welcome to Wonkette. I've been a fan of your comical drawings for a while now, and look forward to more of your words on my computation screen.

  7. FlownOver

    Worry not. If France getting into the class warfare thing vs. the Greek populace I'd expect French capitulation by the end of the day.

    1. tessiee

      This actually made me laugh out loud, and by "laugh out loud", I mean that braying guffaw that's the result of being *surprised* into laughing.

  8. FakaktaSouth

    Whatever with the austere Gemans. We have a bunch down here what with being Mercedes-building-land, and those people are just getting fatter by the minute – Love American Style (also no walking, public transport or healthy food) is a real thing ya know, and these poor Germans are eating it up. Literally.

    1. prommie

      I make a mean choucroute garni. Its kinda German, its an Alsace Lorraine thing, but the krauts would probably like it.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Damn it hang on, I have to google this. Heidi Klum's favorite food is schnitzel. Can you make that? I am SURE fried meat stuff is what makes her look like that.

      2. thatsitfortheother1

        Given that Alsace has been German off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off.

      3. chascates

        That's my favorite dish in the entire world! The guy that started the charcuterie business I used to work at would have to make it when I wasn't around; I kept eating the product. God, cold weather and a big bowl of it with a baguette and a glass of wine, preferably champagne.
        Sauerkraut, potatoes, apples, goose, pork, AHHHHHH!

          1. prommie

            Well, its tortured cabbage, you take the sauerkraut, and you rinse and soak it so its not salty and sour anymore, then braise it for a long time in chicken or veal stock with the pork and sausage and apparently goose, though I have not had that, and it bcomes something completely other than, not saurkraut, but not shredded cabbage either. Its yummy.

            Oh and for strange french foods, there is nothing like cassoulet, as made in Castelnaudary! Its baked beans, just a million times better.

          2. MosesInvests

            Then there's the Jewish version of cassoulet, cholent (from the French "chaud" "lent" , "hot" "slow"). When done right, all kinds of deliciousness.

          3. chascates

            I forgot to mention the sausages!! We sometimes added goose or duck meat but always duck fat aka 'liquid gold'!

      4. tessiee

        "I make a mean choucroute garni."

        Now I'm picturing a redneck version of chocroute garni, which would be vienna sausages dumped straight out of the can onto "slaw" — and ridiculously, would still be better than 9/10 of Paula Deen's recipes.

    2. Negropolis

      To be honest, Germans aren't know for their sveltness to begin with, these days.

  9. Serolf_Divad

    When in France, eat at Burger King, visit Euro Disney and shop at the Virgin Megatsore on the Champs Elysees on Sunday… just to piss off the natives.

        1. thatsitfortheother1

          It's hard to find a bad meal on the continent. Which makes me wonder whatever happened to the Brits?

          1. actor212

            They allowed other people in to open restaurants. I've not had a bad ethnic meal in England. About the only bad meal I had full stop was in a steakhouse in a small village, but that was at the height of mad cow, and they were burning everything just to be safe.

          2. thatsitfortheother1

            Not talking about great Indian, Thai, etc. Talking about a trout that has seen better days.

    1. prommie

      Or you could buy a baguette, a bottle of rose', some cheese and a saucisson, and make yourself a picnic in some pleasant grassy spot, and you will delight the natives, who will be disarmed to see americans acting civilized and will extend all manner of friendliness and wishes of "good eating."

      1. prommie

        I recommend the Luxembourg Gardens if you are new to this. Out in the country, just anywhere you can sit in the grass is great. The french love a picnic more than anything, I shit you all not, and you will get more cred with the french for picnicking than for speaking french. Only in France, they call it "le peek-neek." I have been told that some good picnic spots (I was in the hills overlooking the cote de or in burgandy) are also good spots for la amour. They like that, too, in france. And even if they don't shower constantly, they keep their hoo-ha-s clean between showering with those bidette things. You have to understand, thats what the bidette is for, cleaning up after fucking.

      2. finette_

        Yes, bon appétit is as reflexive for them as gesundheit/bless you is elsewhere. They have to say it if they see you eating. Even the evening news anchors begin by wishing you "bon appétit if you are at the table" to cover all eventualities.

        1. prommie

          How can you not love people who, if they see you eating, cheerfully sing out that they hope you enjoy your food?

    2. sullivanst

      In Paris, existing is about enough to piss off the natives. Talking will seal the deal, no matter whether you stick to English (lazy bastard can't be bothered to learn French) or attempt French (you have a truly terrible accent, you must be doing that to piss us off).

      1. MosesInvests

        That's Parisians, though-people in the rest of France are as friendly (or not) as anyone else.

        1. sullivanst

          Yes indeed, although it was quite tricky to polish up my French vacationing on the coast of Brittany, as the locals would still mostly reply in English (just in a "cool, I get to practice my English" kind of a way instead of the Parisian "I can't stand to hear you bastards murder French now piss off" kind of a way)

    3. Negropolis

      I am embarrassed to say that I was beaconed by the golden arches on Monmatre. Yeah, they've infested even the coolest neighborhoods. I only ate fastfood once my entire week, there, though.

  10. Goonemeritus

    I would find your foie gras analogy more apt if the “debt crisis” were more delicious.

  11. chascates

    Bankers also don't want to waste a crisis:
    LONDON — Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays, one of Britain's biggest retail and investment banks, resigned Monday after a week of turmoil in which Barclays and other leading banks were revealed to be involved in deceptively fixing the interest rate for interbank lending.

    Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland were also among about 20 major Western banks that have come under investigation by U.S. and British authorities for manipulating the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, which forms the benchmark for interest rates on corporate and consumer loans.

    A Barclays communique acknowledged that it has been fined $450 million by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Justice Department's fraud section and Britain's Financial Services Authority.

  12. BaldarTFlagass

    Since you are in France, can you tell us if the French are still all pissed off at the Americans for saving their asses in WW's I and II?

    1. YouVP

      No, they're just pissed when they lost 1.7 million men in a World War (which given their population would be the equivalent of us losing18 million. Imagine that) only to have moron Americans make jokes about being surrender prone, mainly because the French didn't agree with George Bush that invading Iraq was a good idea.

      You can sort of see their point.

  13. MumbletyRadio

    Was just thinking, Lloyd, if your cap instead read "Live Free Or TO Die" you might win the opposite reaction from French passers-by i.e. less hostile, more "Ahhh, bien sûr" and they'll appreciate the opportunity to feel superior. In fact I bet they'll love your analogy w/ the goose & farmer as much as I did; let me just finish rendering its Frenchy translation and will have to you shortly, I'm only stuck on the franco equivalent of "foie."

  14. Guppy

    I hope the credit limit is clean on my Wonkette expense account

    That's not a credit card, it's a library card. And you'll get arrested for overdue book fees if you try to use it.

  15. SorosBot

    But the bank executives' giant bonuses still aren't going to get shrunk, and that's the important thing!

  16. YouVP

    "the little dogs and the charming messes they leave on the pavement."

    I haven't seen dog shit on the sidewalk in Paris for years.

    They make people clean it up now, and people do.

    It used to be all over the place, it was famous for it, there was even a charming tradition where it was good or bad luck depending on which foot you stepped in it with, left or right, I never got straight which was which and used to say "See, where I come from we figure it's sort of bad luck no matter which foot it is."

    There's been virtually none for years though now, you see people carrying little plastic gloves and bags just like everywhere else.

    I'm not saying that this is written by someone who isn't really in Paris, but I suspect it's written from notes he took from last trip, years and years ago. Or else just someone falling victim to cliches. Hey, nobody's perfect, I do that sometimes too.

  17. BlueStateLibel

    Make sure you shout as loudly as possible in English and wear your flip-flops – the French love that.

    1. prommie

      Oh yes, or shorts and loud, flashy sneakers, thats de rigouer in France, dressing like a retarded 3rd grader, they love that.

  18. lisawines

    There is soooo much that is guffawishly good in this article ("the country most loved by God" and "the Greeks are irresponsible mouth-breathers" and "Mormon underwear hanging on the White House clothesline"), I can hardly begin to comment. But I will say, "Git off my dog-poop-covered concrete Paris lawn, Monsieur Dangle!" Putting Monsieur in front of it makes it much less – je ne sais quoi – stuffed goosey?

  19. prommie

    Speaking of France, has anyone else ever had this problem: one time, my grocery store marked down a bunch of packaged duck leg-thigh cuts, to like a stupidly low price, so I bought them all, and proceeded to make a shit-ton of duck confit. So I put the confit, all the legs and thighs braised in their own fat, in a container in the fridge and covered them with the fat, and I left them to age a bit, and what happens? About 3 weeks later my fucking cleaning lady throws them out! Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh! Amirite? Quelle Merde!

    1. Goonemeritus

      I’m sure she was worried that your Cassoulet would suffer from the lack of the much more unctuous Goose fat.

  20. fuflans

    this is my favorite part:

    explode like goat cheese in the July sun

    and almost makes up for no silvio and no exploding bidets.

  21. One_Man_Band

    I always read Troubletown and I had a sad when it stopped appearing next to the strip club ads in the back of my local alternative newsweekly.

  22. tessiee

    "So they deserve to have their minimum wage cut by 20%, their government workers fired by the thousands, their pensions raided, their small businesses bankrupted, and their suicide rate up 40%. Take that, lazy souvlaki eaters! Welcome to what we call the lesson of Wisconsin."

    *points over shoulder with thumb*
    Who's the new kid? I like the cut of his jib.

  23. tessiee

    "I notice the French people shying away from me, due, obviously, to their deep embarrassment over the crisis and their inability to speak perfect English."

    IF YOU SPEAK
    *VERY LOUDLY*
    THEY WILL UNDERSTAND YOU.

  24. PubOption

    If that's an accurate picture, I think Lloyd's name should be Nixon rather than Dangle.

  25. ttommyunger

    Never let your dingle-dangle drag along the ground,
    Not even if your dingle-dangle weighs a half a pound.
    You can wrap it, you can strap it, you can sling it all around,
    But never let your dingle-dangle drag upon the ground.
    (Old Southern Ditty sung to no particular tune at all)
    You're welcome.

  26. Negropolis

    …and their inability to speak perfect English.

    This is your first time in France, eh? lol They never shy away from letting an American know how they feel; trust me.

    EDIT: Oh, that was the joke. My bad.

Comments are closed.